"I’m so excited about Perfectly Unique and what happens when you have a machine like a big publisher like Zondervan behind you."
Author Annie Downs discusses publishing her book, From Head to Foot, with WestBow Press and how it was later picked up by Zondervan Publishing.
From Head to Foot
A Publishing Journey
My book is called From Head to Foot and the primary message is that God made you on purpose. The audience is meant to be for teen girls and young 20’s girls who are really working through who they are. The book says, “God made you on purpose. That’s who you are. Now, how are you serving Him?” It kind of goes through – from head to foot – different opportunities of how we can serve God. I’d say that’s the number one take away is that you are who you are on purpose and we need to walk in that and serve in that.
I’d gone to a writer’s conference and I worked with an agent; I met an agent there and worked with her for about a year. The traditional publishing thing just never worked for me, but at the same time, I was getting speaking gigs and opportunities to be in front of audiences of teen girls, and I wasn’t able to give them any resources or product afterwards. After the agent and I quit working together, about six months later, I was like, “OK, now is the time we need to get this book out.”
The people at WestBow are just a joy to work with – always encouraging. It was an absolute blast. It was the highlight of the experience besides holding the book in my hands. My WestBow Press copy of From Head to Foot is absolutely gorgeous. People pick it up and read it and never have any idea that it was self-published.
Discovered by a Traditional Publisher
Through how From Head to Foot is done, the numbers it has sold and just my platform, I guess, an agent contacted me and he kind of said, “Hey, you’ve done a great job on your own with this book. More people need to read it.” Zondervan offered a traditional publishing deal, which is really exciting, and I’m super grateful that God has opened these doors for me. They retitled it; it’s now called Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot and it comes out in September. I’m so excited about Perfectly Unique and what happens when you have a machine like a big publisher like Zondervan behind you.
Reaching a Wider Audience
I’m really excited to have my message get that kind of power but I love From Head to Foot and it’s just a sweet thing that I’ll always have. That was me and my community and my family all investing in this little engine that could. The beautiful thing about doing WestBow first is that I don’t need the traditional publishing deal to convince me I’m an author and that I have a story. I was able to see God do that in me. If you have a story to tell, then this is your piece of art that you get to give to the world. WestBow makes that possible where before it was just a document on my computer, and now, if it is the only piece of art that ever existed on Earth from me, I would be so proud.